Gown Design: Finding the Perfect Fit

Do you know that there are a number of Gown Design you can choose from?

Dresses from togas of Ancient Greece to the corseted forks of the Victorian era to today’s endless variety of silhouettes, the gown designs and dresses have long been an iconic piece of personal style and shared sartorial heritage.

With multiple styles from couture to ready-to-wear, from sporty T-shirt dresses to trendy party wars, there are a number of directions a gown design can take.

With all the different choices and dress styles, finding a suitable gown design may seem challenging.

This is especially true if you add the fact that there are a number of online stores, as well as physical ones, where you can buy them.

However, if you know some of the basics of design, you may be considering designing a gown yourself.

Keep on reading.

History of Gown Design

One of the interesting things to note about gown designs is that they have been in trend from time immemorial.

In the past, gowns were a prerogative of the nobility and proclaimed the wealth, family status, and social standing of the wearer.

Moreover, it became aspirational for women to wear the best gown designs, and each strove to dress better than others.

Decorated gowns made of costly fabrics with beautiful embroidery, embellishments, and trimmings became the norm for every day.

For a long time, the gowns in European courts featured voluminous skirts with multiple layers of petticoats and hoops inside.

This help to keep the shape intact, long train, tight bodice with lightly layered corsets, draped under layers, high and low necklines, and elaborate sleeves.

While expensive fabrics of silk and taffeta were used to make the gowns.

During the 18 century, a high-waisted style: an Empire line with gathered skirts became popular with low necklines and short fabrics.

Furthermore, after the French revolution in 1780, a fashion for naturalism lead to gowns with simpler silhouettes, more attuned to the natural shape of the female figure.

During the 19 century, the old favorites with full skirts came back.

In the 1870s Bustle was popular, attached to the back of gowns.

While during the 1890s, gowns with long trains, elaborate trimmings, and puffy sleeves were popular.

In the 1900s, full skirts and tight bodices came back into fashion.

1980 was an age of exaggeration and hence, you could see gowns with lots of ruffles, pleats, and puffed sleeves.

Today, you can see that anything goes as gowns, as long as it enhances the beauty of the wearer.

Learn more about Off-Shoulder Dress here.

Types of Gown Design

Types of gowns are:

Evening Gowns

Formal evening gowns are long dresses if you are attending formal or special occasions.

These are made of expensive fabric, with beautiful embellishments, and make the wearer stand out.

Morning Gowns

These are casual long dresses you can wear during the day.

Ball Gown

These gowns are the most common silhouette in gowns.

Moreover, they come in a fitted bodice, tight waist, and a very full, floor-length skirt, with or without a train.

Mermaid Gown

In this type of gown design, the skirt fits tightly at the hips and thighs, however, flares out from the knees.

The designer achieves it by cutting panels that flare or by attaching a different fabric from the knees.

Moreover, the gown is popular as a Trumpet gown.

A-Line Gown

In this style, the gown fits the bodice, and the skirt flares gently from the waist to the skirt hem.

Thus creating the shape of a capital letter A.

gown design 1

Sheath Gown

A sheath gown has a body-hugging fit all throughout the cut.

Bouffant Skirt Gown

This is a gown design with a full skirt. Moreover, it often has a gathered skirt with a puffy look due to which the waist can look very small.

The designers achieve this look by making the skirt in a number of layers of tulle fabric or by using hoops or petticoats inside of using logs of fabric.

Circular Skirt Gown

This type of gown design fits the waist but the skirt is flared.

Moreover, the skirt of this gown is cut as a circle skirt to achieve this look.

Full Skirt Gown

A full skirt gathers at the waist but is not as full/puffy as a bouffant skirt gown.

Bustle Gown

These are vintage-style gowns with extra attachments to the back of the gown where the bodice meets the skirts.

Often there is a rain or gathering fabric that gives it the appearance of fullness a the back.

Learn more about Evening Gowns Dubai here.

Other Types

Some other types of gown designs you may across are:

Bias Cut Gown

This is a gown cut with true cross-grain/bias fo fabric so that it fits the body perfectly and has a good drape, without adding volume at the waist or hips.

Moreover, it tends to tight fit at the hem. There is fluidity and body-hugging fit to the fabric of the skirt that makes this gown attractive on most body shapes.

Asymmetrical Gown

This gown tends to have an asymmetrical hemline.

Tiered Gown

This gown will have a number of layers of skirts.

Panel Gown

A panel gown is made by joining a number of panels of fabrics.

Strapless Gown

A strapless gown comes with a bustier/corset bodice without straps or sleeves. It is also popular as a Corset Style.

gown design 2

Backless Gown

This type of gown design will have a backless bodice.

Cami Gown

A camisole-style long dress comes with thin spaghetti straps and a plunging V-neckline.

Empire Wasit Gown

In this gown, the fitted bodice ends just under the bust and the gathered waists begin from there, looking at a high waist.

Halter Neck Gown

A halter neck gown will have a band encircling the neckline connecting to th sleeveless bodice leaving the shoulders and part of the back bare.

Learn more about V-Neck Slip Dress Evening Dress here.

Popular Dress Fabrics

Some popular dress fabrics are:

Chiffon: Magical and gauzy chiffon is a transparent, flowing fabric.

You can often find this fabric in evening dresses, wedding dresses, and formal gowns.

Crepe: Usually made out of wool, silk, and even synthetic fibers, crepe is a fabric popular as a distinctive crinkled texture.

It is often used in evening dresses and formal wear, its traditional origin was in black dresses for mourning attire.

fabric options

Linen: This lightweight, breathable, natural fiber is woven from flax.

Moreover, it is a popular choice for summer dresses.

Silk: A natural fabric made from cocoons of mulberry silkworms.

Silk is a soft yet resilient fabric that began in Ancient China.

It has a distinctive sheen and you can see it in a variety of dress styles.

The synthetic and less expensive alternative to silk, however, is satin.

How to Design your Own Dress

If you understand some basics of gown design, you can make your own design.

To actually design a dress, you will need to focus on creative direction, sketching your design, sourcing fabrics, making patterns or finding pattern makers, pattern grading, and producing samples.

Creative Direction

To create your perfect design, you will need to start with the creative direction and mood.

To do this, imagine what kind of gown design you want to wear.

An important part of the creative process is mood boards.

While you can create a physical mood board with a number of items, you can also create them with free tools.

These include Pinterest, Canva, and Milanote.


During this design, you will think about the colors, shapes, and textiles you want to use.

Consider how you want the material to flow or cling to your body, as well as your body shape.

Moreover, you can use a number of tools to create your sketches. The traditional route is a pencil, paper, paints, markers, or colored pencils.

However, if you are a pro, you can also use programs like Adobe Illustrator.

sketching it


Textile is the most important element of the design process.

Color, texture, and structure all play a huge role in the look and feel of your dresses, and fabric choices contribute to all these elements.

Moreover, color communicates the mood of your dress.

Pattern Making

At this point of the creative process, you will work with a pattern maker to create patterns for your designs.

Patterns are templates, or outlines, of different pieces of fabric that you will cut and sew together to form a garment.

Pattern Grading

Depending on the concept of your dress, you may want to grade the patterns, Pattern grading is the process of producing a number of sizes for a single design.

Sample Clothing

Once you are finished, you can make your design into reality.

These mockups woo go through a series of revisions until you make them perfect.

Final Thoughts

Just like you learn how to walk before running, understanding some of the most common gown designs is important. When creating your dress, it is important to understand the different types of dresses as well as the materials you can use to create them.

Knowing the names and references to different styles can help you provide direction on what you want your gown design to look like. Moreover, an understanding of fabrics can help you give the dress concepts shape, structure, and aesthetic consistency.

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